LEXINGTON, Ky. – The High Point Rockers fell at the Kentucky Genomes 9-6 in a Wednesday afternoon matinee at Wild Health Field.
The Rockers managed nine hits but could not take full advantage of the eight walks issued by Kentucky pitchers.
Gavin Heltemes (0-1) went just 1.2 innings and allowed four hits and six runs before yielding to the bullpen. Kentucky starter Aaron Blair went 3.2 innings and was followed by five relievers, the first of which, Ryan Kellogg (1-0), earned the win.
Logan Morrison and Ben Aklinski each had a pair of hits for the Rockers with Aklinski and Quincy Latimore belting home runs.
Kentucky jumped on Heltemes for two runs in the first inning. After a two-out walk to Moises Sierra, Chris Shaw homered to left-center for a 2-0 Genomes lead.
High Point rebounded with three runs in the top of the second to make it a 3-2 game. Latimore hit a solo homer, his eighth of the year. The Rockers then loaded the bases as Jay Gonzalez walked, Giovanny Alfonso was hit by a pitch and Yuta Okazaki singled to load the bases. Michael Russell was hit by a pitch to bring home Gonzalez and Morrison drew a walk to score Alfonzo.
But the Genomes put up four runs in the bottom of the second, chasing Heltemes after allowing three hits, three wild pitches a pair of walks and a hit batter in the frame.
High Point cut the lead to 6-4 with a run in the third. After a Johnny Field double, Latimore and Gonzalez drew walks from Blair. Alfonzo plated Field with a sacrifice fly. Kentucky extended the lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the third on a solo shot by Samir Duenez. The Rockers scored twice in the fourth to pull within one at 7-6 on a two-run homer by Aklinski.
Kentucky went ahead 9-6 in the seventh on an RBI double by Demetrius Moorer.
High Point and Kentucky will conclude this three-game series on Thursday with a 6:35 p.m. start at Wild Health Field.